STEVEN CROSS

 
Full Name: Steven Cross
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: Robert Cuma
Time Span: 2008 - 2013
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Steven Cross is an agent with the CIA.
       He is, in fact, a very senior agent having been with them for a quarter century and, as the series begins, is only six months away from retirement, something he says he is looking forward to.
       As far as most of the intelligence community is concerned, and most of the time in actual truth, Cross is a field operations officer, a normal operative. At other times, though, he is the one who is "called upon to take care of situations that no one else knew how to handle". That often meant assassin.
       As he put it once, "my dark identity was kept from my closest friends, colleagues, and even my boss, the chief of field operations. I was deep undercover within one of the largest spy agencies in the world. Officially, I worked in field operations with my handpicked team and conducted the usual spy duties that any good spook organization would perform. However, going back to my early days with the Agency, they used me for the most unspeakable tasks that would make a bald man’s hair curl. Some, I’m not very proud of; but at the time, I felt that they were justified. There are about three or four people in the entire Agency that know my true mission and identity. One wouldn’t have to speculate too much to say there’s probably a CIA within the CIA."
       Having been around so long and seen so much and having the t-shirts (and the scars) to prove it, Cross is more than a little jaded about his line of work. He is not bitter as much as disappointed with the whole cloak-and-dagger world. Many people not knowing what they are doing and many other doing things for obviously the wrong reason, all added up to a man who knew enough to nod at the right times without believing a word he was being told.
       Before he became a field operative and go-to guy when extreme prejudice was needed, he worked for the State Department as a Foreign Service officer, stationed for the most time in Tel Aviv making him an expert in the Middle East. This is interesting because it is the Far East where most of his later adventures take place and is Station Chief of Far East Operations.
       Before his State days he was in the military and was a part of Special Forces. What he did and when he did it is not mentioned much but his ability to handle himself in a variety of situations speaks a lot for his training.
       Steven Cross is not his real name. As he puts it, "your parents give you one name and the Agency takes it away and gives you something more appropriate for this line of work or is it a name they can all remember, whatever!" It is, however, as Cross that the world in which he operates thinks of him as and, truthfully, after so long, so does he.
       Over the years Cross has put together a very capable team and he is extremely loyal to them and they to him. As for his bosses, though, Cross has the interesting attitude: "You never want these guys to know how smart you really are; they’ll expect too much, and besides, they all have superiority complexes."

BOOKS

Number of Books:5
First Appearance:2008
Last Appearance:2013

1 The Taipei Connection The Taipei Connection
Written by Robert Cuma
Copyright: 2008

As Steven Cross rapidly approaches retirement from the CIA after 25 years of service, he and his team is sent after a band of international arms dealers in Asia but support from home is fading.

2 Assassins Betrayed Assassins Betrayed
Written by Robert Cuma
Copyright: 2009

The mission given Steven Cross seemed simple - eliminate an Italian mobster. Things get complicated quickly as his own handler cuts him loose and Cross is caught between a huge cartel and the Mob.

3 Spies And Lovers Spies And Lovers
Written by Robert Cuma
Copyright: 2010

Steven Cross is apprehensive about his mission to assassinate a major foreign political figure but before he act one way or the other, someone else eliminates the target. As he seeks to find out more, he uncovers a plot by a wealthy American to get richer using mind control.

4 A Young Assassin A Young Assassin
Written by Robert Cuma
Copyright: 2012

Hannah is a veteran Mossad agent, fluent in many languages and even more adept at killing. When her path intersects with Steven Cross, it is love at first sight. They are assigned to work together.

5 Innocence Became His Spy Innocence Became His Spy
Written by Robert Cuma
Copyright: 2013

Lexi is a young and somewhat rash reporter for an Italian newspaper who comes into contact with Steven Cross. She becomes intrigued with his work and begins an apprenticeship as his assistant as he goes up against Russian mobsters getting into bed with terrorists.

MY COMMENTS

       I am a big Steven Cross fan and even bigger Robert Cuma fan. He (Cuma) is a very talented writer who has created a small cadre of people that you learn to like and follow, especially their leader, Cross. Cross is a very talented operative who is not perfect but close to it and knows his people well enough to pick the right person for a task, making him look even better in the end, the mark of a good leader.
       He is, as an advanced aged operative, still a ladies man as his exploits reveal and for an old duffer like myself, I applaud his exploits as I marvel at his stamina. Mostly I appreciate the fact that the author thinks enough of a man in his likely early 60's to let him still enjoy a sex life instead of warm slippers and milk.
       As for the activities Cross gets involved in, the experience the author is said to have enjoyed likely gave him a lot of ideas that he was able to put into words and for that I am grateful.
       There has not been a new Cross novel in a couple of years and, looking at his website, nothing else from him. I hope that may change.

GRADE

My Grade: A-

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